Smoked moose shiitake pasta


Smoking is a big thing in Scandinavian cuisine. We love our warm and cold smoked fish and meats. My most favourite cold smoked things to cook with are salmon and reindeer. Of the warm smoked kind it's lamb and moose. I always bring these back with me whenever I visit Finland.

Cooking with smoked moose meat
Moose and parsley - good buddies

This smoked moose is really special, I don't know if you can buy it. Maybe in one of those "Kauppahalli" indoor markets in the bigger cities, where they sell all kinds of delicacies and beautiful rare foods. But in the country you just kill a moose, take a chunk to a local smoker and pick it up a few day later. It freezes beautifully, is lovely as a cold cut on an open sandwich, but also fantastic in a quiche or a creamy pasta sauce.

My parents are not the hunting type, my grandfather was, but I think he mainly shot hare and game birds like grouse, partridge, pheasant and mallard. Moose hunting is more regulated, you have to be tested and licensed and join a club. You can't just walk to the woods and start shooting. My grandfather was more the walk to the woods and start shooting kind of a guy.

A plate of moose and shiitake mushroom pasta

He had a long row of hunting dogs. They were all called Murre and after each of them died they were allocated a serial number after their name to identify which one in the long row of Murres they were talking about unless they were talking about the current Murre which of course was just Murre. Dad mostly liked them, they were nice company for an only child I imagine. But he still remembers Murre II, who was a bit of a biter and not his favourite. Probably a favourite of my granddad's though, he always loved a rebel.

So when he was ready to go out and shoot some animals my granddad would put his rucksack on the floor, Murre would jump in, granddad would put his hunting rifle next to the dog, tie the cords so that only Murre's head and the muzzle of the rifle poked out. He'd swing the rucksack with it's deadly contents on his back, jump on his Jawa motorbike and head to the woods.

Dad never got the hunting bug. I must ask him if granddad who was a proper man's man minded having such a geek for an only son, who'd rather stay at home with his stamp collection and tweezers than join the real men out there fighting for survival.

So our family moose is killed by a local hunter every fall and my parents take parts of it to the local smoker dude, who smokes it for them.

In my parents' world it can be used as a currency to pay for things like a haircut, window cleaning or a dish washer repair. I might try it next time at Vidal Sassoon Covent Garden.

Saucy moose and shiitake mushroom pasta dish
You can leave the sauce saucier

RecipeSmoked moose pasta (serves 4)

150-200g smoked cubed moose meat
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 small or half a large bell pepper
200g shiitake or other mushrooms
1 cup game or beef stock
Salt and pepper
3-4 heaped tbsp sour cream
Fresh parsley or rosemary
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)

2 cups of uncooked whole meal pasta

Cook the pasta according to pack instructions.

Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion cooking on medium heat for a few minutes. Add the garlic, chopped pepper, sliced mushrooms and chopped herbs. You can also add some other veggies if you have some in your fridge you need to get rid of. I had a pack of sprouting purple broccoli that I added. Cook until vegetable are softened, add the moose meat, stock, sour cream, salt, black pepper and truffle oil. Bring back to a boil, take off heat, check the seasoning and serve with the pasta.
Hot smoked moose meat and shiitake mushroom pasta recipe
Or less saucy

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  1. I think my husband would love Finland as he loves smoked foods! I nearly choked on my burger during a BBQ at the weekend as he'd put so many smoking chips on. This sounds delicious and I imagine quite rich tasting!? I'll have to see if I can get moose anywhere! :D

  2. It's quite rich, but not gamy. It's not really that different from venison I suppose - I have seen smoked venison in Waitrose, but I don't know if it's any good.

  3. It's quite rich, but not gamy. It's not really that different from venison I suppose - I have seen smoked venison in Waitrose, but I don't know if it's any good.

  4. Ahh, We have a farm shop near us that sells venison, I'll have to have a look! Ta!

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